Dodoma — THE government has dismissed the assumption that it was encouraging the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) to operate commercially and neglect interests of the masses.
Mr Nimrod Mkono (Musoma Rural - CCM) had inquired as to why the NMB was operating as a commercial bank yet the government formed it to operate as a micro finance bank to take services closer to the people.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Affiars, Dr William Mgimwa, denied that the government was encouraging the bank but said that as a bank that was registered, it had the mandate to provide all services.
"The licence that NMB holds allows it to operate so. It is our belief that by letting as many financial institutions as possible to operate, then we will be easing services to the people," he explained. Dr Mgimwa said that the government would continue to support the bank and asked the members of parliament and the public not to lose hope because allowing financial institutions to compete will at the end lead to better services.
He said that the government was doing all it could to create a conducive environment for financial institutions to do their businesses. Mr Mahmoud Hassan Mgimwa (Mufindi North-CCM) had asked in his basic question why banks such as CRDB, National Bank of Commerce and Barclays have not opened branches in Mufindi despite promises to do so.
The Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms Janet Mbene, said that since 1991 the government changed its financial policy not to work directly with banks. Ms Mbene however said that the government was striving to create conducive environment for the private sector to be involved in banking activities and that they had left it upon them to operate and make all the decisions.
"Allow me to call upon honourable Mgimwa and other Members of Parliament to work with the government to encourage the public in your constituencies to form community banks that go hand in hand with the needs of the area," she said.
Ms Mbene said that the government was willing to provide technical support in the formation of community banks and that if people were ready, the Ministry was ready to approach the Bank of Tanzania for that purpose.